Many people already know that you shouldn’t mix drugs and alcohol, but unfortunately, this doesn’t stop some people from doing it. Kratom, although a fairly new substance in the United States, is just one of many drugs available in stores and on the internet.
Use of kratom has increased in the United States over the past few years. Some may wonder about the safety of kratom and drinking, specifically if it is safe to combine them.
Although there isn’t currently much data on what happens if you mix kratom and alcohol, examining the properties of these substances individually provides valuable information about the possible risks of this combination.
Alcohol is a depressant, which means it inhibits the function of the central nervous system. It also blocks messages from nerve receptors to the brain. As a result, a person’s perceptions, movements and senses are affected. Kratom, on the other hand, is both a stimulant and a sedative.
Combining a depressant with a stimulant or with a sedative, in general, can be dangerous. With that in mind, it’s best to simply avoid mixing kratom and alcohol.
Other Questions about Kratom
- How is Kratom ingested?
The leaves can be eaten raw or pulverized, brewed as a tea or made into tablets, capsules or liquids.
- Is Kratom illegal?
The Drug Enforcement Administration has not made kratom illegal at this time, although it is listed as a Drug and Chemical of Concern and there is no approved use for it in the United States. Further, some states and cities have restricted kratom to varying degrees. For example, kratom is completely banned in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin. However, kratom is legal in California, except in the city of San Diego, where it is banned.
- Is Kratom an opioid?
Kratom contains two chemicals, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, that work on the mµ opioid receptor, the same receptor in the brain that opioids use. However, kratom is not an opioid and does not work exactly the same as opioids. At low doses, kratom can be stimulating and increase your energy. However, at high doses, kratom can cause sedation.
- What are Kratom’s side effects?
More research and clinical trials are necessary to completely understand the effects of kratom on the body. However, kratom has many known side effects, including:
- Gastrointestinal side effects like nausea, vomiting, constipation, loss of appetite, anorexia and weight loss
- Dry mouth
- Increased urination
- Fast heartbeat
- Sleeping problems, like drowsiness or insomnia
- Liver problems
- Mental problems like hallucinations and psychosis
- Does kratom have withdrawal symptoms?
Because mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine act similarly on the brain to opioids, quitting kratom can cause withdrawal symptoms that are similar to opioids. However, kratom withdrawal symptoms are often milder than opioid withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms begin 12 to 24 hours after stopping kratom and may include:
- Muscle spasms
- Appetite loss
- Runny eyes and nose
- Mood swings, including anger and anxiety
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.
Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration. “Kratom.” April, 2020. Accessed June 28, 2020.
Cinosi, Eduardo; Martinotti, Giovanni; Simonato, Pierluigi; et al. “Following “the Roots” of Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa): The Evolution of an Enhancer from a Traditional Use to Increase Work and Productivity in Southeast Asia to a Recreational Psychoactive Drug in Western Countries.” BioMed Research International, 2015. Accessed June 28, 2020.
Galbis-Reig, David. “A Case Report of Kratom Addiction and Withdrawal.” Wisconsin Medical Journal, February 2016. Accessed June 28, 2020.
Veltri, Charles; Grundmann, Oliver. “Current perspectives on the impact of Kratom use.” July 1, 2019. Accessed June 28, 2020.